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Poster: barongsong Date: Sep 24, 2011 7:53am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Greatest Brent Show (or looseness tightness debate)

I Know I'm going to regret this post later because in Grateful Dead world you are only as good as the high that was listened to when, but I gotta say that I keep coming back to this one
"http://www.archive.org/details/gd1989-06-18.dsbd.miller.83709.sbeok.flac16"
as the tops for Brent energy carrying the day especially with all the Tech diffs they were having on this run.
This show isn't for everyone for sure because musically they are are all over they place sometimes but what continues to amaze me is that they keep pulling it back from these super high energy jams (Brent leading the way) that go into an almost discordance, into some excellent semblances of unified songs. (Some Examples: Hey Pocky Way > Iko Iko, St. Of Circumstance > He's Gone., Brent Highlights: Everything)
I know I know, all you guys are going to say yea, so what, that's what they did a million times back in their heyday of the 70's or whenever but what I'm trying to show here is that they did almost exactly the same thing in some of the later shows but only much faster and some would say better way when they were on. "On" being the key word and a point of discussion for a later day.
Note: I actually don't agree with this theory that quicker transactions are better so much, as I think the slower method of jamming it out ad infinitude does create more chances for creativity, but I do think that the band had explored those venues at the time massively and was looking for something else.
What I'm getting at here is that I think the bands desire in the 80's was to get a bit further by "tightening up" their jams and finding possibly a new space to create again without being bored and tired out by the length it took to get there. When Brent died it was a setback that i think they never really recovered from or found a solution at least in the times that Jerry was alive.
This show I think is a good representation of the boys getting close to that idea of high energy but quicker movement being a viable thing in Grateful Dead music.
Wow, this post really diverged from the original thought but I'm going to press "submit" anyway, and it would be interesting to hear if anyone even understands what I'm talking about or if it's just me being a barman on a slow week.

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Poster: wisconsindead Date: Sep 27, 2011 1:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Greatest Brent Show (or looseness tightness debate)

I actually found an example of what I said in my previous post about "getting tight". It comes from Conversations with the Dead by David Gans. Page 166:

"Everything has gotten so structured... I loved those three-set nights back in 73 and 74 when things would get weird in the first set, weirder in the second set and weird six times in the third set" -Gans

"Yeah. Thats the kind of shit that I love, too. I think every song we play, everything we do should be able to open up at any moment....I'd just as soon just get outside! Thats what were all about! The rigidty of the set and the show that we do is a direct outgrowth of the decision to do the Working Man's Dead-American Beauty-style material, so that goes back a long way. In fact this particular show that we're doing now, in 1982, has been ossifying since 1970" -Phil Lesh

Pretty wild to stumble upon Lesh saying nearly the exact thing I said, seeing as how I had never read this quote until today.

This post was modified by wisconsindead on 2011-09-27 20:30:05

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Poster: barongsong Date: Sep 27, 2011 7:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Greatest Brent Show (or looseness tightness debate)

That is a very interesting quote which I also have never heard. Interesting even more though that Phil compares 1982 as an offshoot of 1970. Where as I find 1970-74 to have some of the more crazy spaced out jams than even the 60's. But I guess that's correct in that it sorta started with the acoustic sets adding some more structure to the form of how sets were done.

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Poster: wisconsindead Date: Sep 27, 2011 8:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Greatest Brent Show (or looseness tightness debate)

Hes more so referring to the style of songs. Compare anthem of the sun to workingman's dead and you have two different bands. I personally don't think the acoustic sets had anything to do with that switch, they played acoustic before all of it.

I totally see what you're saying about the jams of 70-74 and I agree. But I think you're missing the point as to the change. The change was really the addition of americana style music, it wasn't this odd hip exploratory acid music. Sure they were still playing out there stuff but the introduction of this "new" music was the origin of the typical setlist and musical structure for essentially 76-95.

at least thats my undeveloped thesis on this interesting topic.

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Poster: wisconsindead Date: Sep 26, 2011 7:17am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Greatest Brent Show (or looseness tightness debate)

Just to note, I think the dead were on this "tightening" up path that you mention for a long time. Starting essentially in 1970 with american beauty and workingman's dead material. As the years went on they continued to play more and more standard songs without taking them to the cosmos. Though this doesn't necessarily hold true with the flowering of jamming from 71-74. At any rate by the time 76 rolled around this trend was taking hold and by brent's entry, they were pretty steady and playing tunes without having many long jams, and if they did have a long jam, it was usually part of the song. The late 80s were an apex or peak for this "style" to which you refer. Check out the Alpine 89 shows if you haven't heard them. Some perfect dead.

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Sep 24, 2011 1:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Greatest Brent Show (or looseness tightness debate)

very good points. i understood you barman. always liked this show. lots of good brent:
http://www.archive.org/details/gd84-05-08.sbd.lai.2573.sbefail.shnf

the scarlet>touch is a nice touch

and that Pocky Way>Iko is smokin' hot

also Brent's last east coast show was outstanding:
http://www.archive.org/details/gd90-07-12.sbd.miller.21980.sbeok.shnf

check out the foolish heart>ds

This post was modified by rdenirojb87 on 2011-09-24 20:44:53

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Poster: Dead Surfer Date: Sep 24, 2011 3:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Greatest Brent Show (or looseness tightness debate)

I can't argue that!

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Sep 24, 2011 5:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Greatest Brent Show (or looseness tightness debate)

Hey barognsong, How are you doing? How is Asia. (I'm sorry I forgot the city. Bangkok? Kuala Lumpur?)

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Poster: barongsong Date: Sep 24, 2011 7:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Greatest Brent Show (or looseness tightness debate)

Actually just got back from East Timor but I live in Bali. Hows It going with yourself? Been back to (Nepal right) lately?

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Sep 25, 2011 6:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Greatest Brent Show (or looseness tightness debate)

No I'm stateside, E.C.. Althea Rose is living in Nepal. (She and her family made it through the recent earthquake safely.)

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Poster: barongsong Date: Sep 25, 2011 9:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Greatest Brent Show (or looseness tightness debate)

Oh yea that's right I always confuse you two for some reason, in respect to location. Glad to hear A.R. and fam. made it out safe from the earthquake too. Way to many scary events happening these days.

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Poster: RBNW....new and improved! Date: Sep 24, 2011 1:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Greatest Brent Show (or looseness tightness debate)

When Brent died it was a setback that i think they never really recovered from or found a solution at least in the times that Jerry was alive. ....so true!

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Sep 25, 2011 6:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Greatest Brent Show (or looseness tightness debate)

I agree. The big deflation.
His acoustic sets in '80 alone should get him by, but not so. I don't see KG, unless a healthy and recommitted KG, keeping up. B/S is a great example of Brent's superior work.
In '88-'90 he was one of three lead vocalists and Jerry didn't seem to mind. In fact, I noticed Jerry push Brent, especially to fervently emote (think later of those '94 Stella's), which was Brent's bread and butter. Equally, Brent would push his band mates. All the time. The effect ran the gamut, and some of the music makes you want to hide under the couch. Some was the best of GD, and takes its place in the canon.
You have to go back to Pig to have three 'lead' vocalists. (Sorry DJG) Frankly, I don't enjoy any of Brent's tunes. I skip them. His covers and his presence in Bobby's and Jerry's tunes was huge. I followed the band closely in those years. Each year got better and better, and one huge reason was Brent. I can remember so many times Jerry turning to Brent (I always sat on Jerry's side) during a jam and them taking the jam higher or changing it. A far cry from the mid-eighties when most of the time only the drummers would play w/Brent on his songs.
Some music to consider. A '80 acoustic B/S, the MLBJ on 3-24-90 or Hey Pocky Way from Greensboro '89. KG was incredible at the beginning of his time. The best keys they probably ever had. KG at the end was often worse than VW. Brent, deride him for many things, but not trying and not trying to play better music can not be among them.
Right now, the '70's are enjoying the attention and sunlight (I think they always will). Sadly, the '60's feel like they are beginning to bolt. However, the '80's are laid bare for some attention and serious scholarship.

This post was modified by micah6vs8 on 2011-09-25 13:22:00

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Poster: wisconsindead Date: Sep 26, 2011 7:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Re: Greatest Brent Show (or looseness tightness debate)

here here!